KENILWORTH addressed their poor away record with a crucial 26-19 victory at Worcester Wanderers in Midlands One West.
Their 15th victory of the season pushes them up to 72 points in third, narrowly behind the top two of Lichfield (76pts) and Dudley Kingswinford (75pts).
With the title race well and truly on as a result of the win, it is worth noting the physical exertion from the visitors, who braced themselves for combat with not only their opponents, but Storm Ciara also, during the encounter.
Having enjoyed a positive spell in the opening ten minutes, Kenilworth’s Tondi Mpambawashe touched down the opening try on ten minutes, followed by Jayde Cruickshank’s conversion.
That advantage was doubled ten minutes later, after Worcester’s attacking response fell short, when Connor Burnet executed a well-timed run to receive and haul himself over the try line. Cruickshank again did the honours with a successful punt between the posts.
Eventually, the hosts did register some points on the board after claiming a converted try, as Worcester put together their best attacking phase of the game.
With confidence growing, Kenilworth’s lead was reduced to two points at half-time with an unconverted score – leaving the game in the balance.
Mikkel Andresen marked the opening five minutes of the second half with an unconverted try in the corner to regain some momentum for Kenilworth, albeit short-lived, after Worcester levelled following a devastating move from a line-out.
A big effort was required to tip the game back in the visitors’ favour and ensure their title charge remains on track, so it was a relief to many when Luke Truslove finally broke through to Worcester’s try line.
Cruickshank again was successful with the conversion that followed, putting the game out of reach of the stubborn hosts.
With seven games of the season remaining, Kenilworth head to rock-bottom Kidderminster on Saturday, a side who have won just one game all season (2.15pm).